Days after quitting the Congress, senior politician PC Chacko has joined the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party. At the joining event, he took a swipe at the Congress. "What we need is unity in the opposition, which I didn't see in my previous party... I am happy to be in a party that is moving in a direction, a party which is functional," he said.
Mr Chacko was welcomed in the party by senior leaders Praful Patel and Mr Pawar.
He said his joining the NCP was not an "experiment" as he had had a long association with the party.
"I join NCP as part of the LDF (Left Democratic Front In Kerala). The country today needs the Left and other democratic parties to come together," he said at the event.
"I have promised Pawar sahab that LDF will come to power in Kerala. I will be touring in Kerala as a true soldier," he added.
The 74-year-old is a former Member of Parliament from Kerala Thrissur constituency. He headed the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G Spectrum during the UPA government (2009-2014). On March 10, he announced his decision to quit the Congress over the alleged undemocratic way of selecting candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls in Kerala which is scheduled for April 6.
The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is looking to replace the Communist-led Left Democratic Front government of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Kerala. The state, which has never given a second consecutive term to the incumbent Chief Minister or alliance till now, could throw up a surprise this time, observers say.
The NCP is allied with the Left in Kerala. A marginal player in state, the NCP faced a crisis of sorts last month when its sole MLA, Mani C Kappan, quit the party and formed his own outfit. Mr Chacko's entry could potentially restore some of its heft given his decades of experience in the state's political landscape.